When it comes to selecting the best free website builder software, the choice proves to be really complicated because of the impressive number of quality services used for this purpose. Some of them work better for small businesses, others are meant for eCommerce, while some are targeting both the end user and the design agency. It all depends on your requirements, experience and budget.
• 1. What is The Best Free Website Builder Software?
• 2. Online Website Builder Software
• 3. Offline Website Design Software
• Bottom Line
Whatever web building needs and objectives you have, you should know that website builder software come in two major types, namely offline and online services. Offline programs require installation to the hard disk – just like any standard computer program. Online systems or website builders, in their turn, don’t require any downloading or installation. Everything you need to do is to sign up with the service via your email or social network accounts. The process is super easy, quick and its doesn’t take much effort or time. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of both types of services right now to understand which one will work for you most of all.
What is The Best Free Website Builder Software: Online vs Offline?
Offline website builder software is represented by powerful services that have initially been used to create different types of websites: from portfolio to online store. They are standalone website editors, which have to be downloaded and installed on a computer before being used to launch websites.
Online programs or website builders appeared much later than offline software, but they have already become the apparent leaders in the web building niche. They have much more advantages than their offline competitors, which make them popular with millions of users across the globe.
Best Website Builder Software Chart:
|Website Design Software:||Wix (jump to review)||uKit (jump to review)||Mobirise (jump to review)|
|Hosting:||Free/from 500Mb||Free/unlimited disk space||Not included|
|Templates and Themes:||500+ mobile-realy templates||350+ responsive themes||9 responsive themes|
|SEO Options:||SEO Wizard||Promotion widget||General SEO settings|
|Pricing Options:||Free to $24.50/mo||$4 to $12/mo||Free (paid extensions)|
Benefits of online website builders include:
- High Security Level. Websites created with online website building software feature high security level and many of them make it possible to launch SSL-certified websites to provide maximum information protection. These services are much safer as compared to other web building tools, so, you may feel safe about business or personal data you use during the web building process.
- Opportunity to Work on Your Website Development from Any Device. One of the major advantages of online website builders is their 24/7 accessibility. Wherever you are and whatever you do, you always have a chance to work on your project from any device you have at hand. There is no need to take your computer or tablet with you to be able to work on your website when needed. Instead, you just take any device, connect it to the Internet and continue working on your project.
- Rich Choice of Thematic Templates. Website builders generally come with an extensive selection of professional pre-designed templates, which are usually subdivided into thematic sections based on the topic they are meant for. This eliminates the necessity to waste your time and effort looking for the required template topic. You just browse the section that fits your business specialization, select the theme you like and start customizing it with regard to your needs.
- Automatic System Update. Website builders are updated automatically as soon as their new versions are released. This does not have any impact upon a user and you don’t have to track and make the updates on your own. Just enjoy the result and keep working on your project, using all the benefits of the updated system version.
Disadvantages of Online Website Builders
- Permanent Internet Access. To work with online website builders, you need to have permanent access to the Internet. If there is no connection for some reason, you won’t be able to make the changes at your website and update it when necessary. This may be a serious hindrance to the entire web building process and may have negative impact upon the result.
- No Opportunity to Choose Hosting. Most contemporary website builders come with their own hosting. Thus, you cannot choose hosting of your own, even if you wish to. Whether you want that or not, your website will be hosted on the system servers. What’s more, all-in-one website builders have no import/export features, so, if you decide to move to another hosting one day, you won’t be able to take your website with you.
Benefits of offline website builder software are as follows:
- Opportunity to Work Offline. This is one of the major advantages of offline website builder software, which allows working on your project any time of the day, with no Internet connection. This is very convenient as you don’t have to rely on the Internet access to develop your website on your computer whenever and wherever you are. Instead, you have a chance to spend as much time and effort as you need designing your website.
- Free Website Hosting. Having created a website with one of the offline programs, you’ll have an opportunity to install it on one of free website hostings of your choice. There is no need to make regular payments to keep your website working. Just select reliable and safe hosting, upload your ready made website to it and enjoy the result of your work.
Disadvantages of using offline website builder software include:
- The Need to Take Care of Website Hosting in Advance. As opposed to lots of online website builders that come with hosting right from the start, offline programs frequently don’t have such an option. This implies the necessity to take care of your website hosting in advance. Prior to starting working on your project, take your time to choose secure and trusted hosting to make it accessible in the global network. This frequently requires extra effort, time and money.
- Complexity Level. As a rule, offline web building services are more complicated and have to be mastered prior and during the process of website development. These programs are initially created with the needs and skills of web design pros in mind and, thus, they are more challenging for newbies. It is much more complicated to learn the basics of downloading and installation of these programs, while the process itself can take much time.
- The Need to Update a Program. Whatever offline website builder software you will go for, you will sooner or later face the necessity to update it. Regular system updates often slow down the web building process, requiring more effort and time. If you overlook the upcoming update time, this may cause problems with your current version, having negative impact upon the entire web building process and its final result.
Regardless of the available variety of web creation programs, only those services that feature harmonious combination of convenience/ease of use and low cost are in demand with users nowadays. Three top website builder software that stand out from the crowd are Wix, uKit and Mobirise. It’s high time to describe their features and characteristics right now.
Wix – The Best Online Website Builder Software
Wix is a universal website builder and one of the contemporary niche leaders. It allows creating literary any kind of website depending upon your needs, requirements and preferences. Whether you intend to launch a business website, a portfolio, a blog, an online store or any other website, you can do that with no hassle at all with a few clicks only. This is one of the easiest web building solutions you can find.
Getting started with Wix is super easy and quick. Wix doesn’t require any installation and this is one of the major advantages of the system, which, however, does not have any effect upon the efficacy of the web building process and the result. You’ll just need to sign up with the service by providing your email and password. Another option to register with the system is to use your Facebook or Google+ account data. The process doesn’t take longer than a couple of minutes.
Wix Website Creation
Right after the registration, you’ll be offered to select the type of a website you need. To do this, you should click the “I Need a Site For …” button and select the option that works best for you. The most popular website types you’ll come across are small business websites, blogs, online stores, portfolios etc., but you can also choose “Beauty and Wellness”, “Accommodation” (if you intend to launch a website for your hotel, for example), “Restaurants” and what not. The selection is quite abundant here.
Having chosen the type of a website to work at, you’ll get access to the template gallery, where you can choose the one that meets your needs and requirements. The choice will certainly impress you and you will need time to decide what theme exactly you need. If there is nothing you like here, you can choose a blank theme to be able to create a unique website from scratch.
Right after you select the template, you can start customizing it with regard to your needs. Update the name of a website, tagline, text elements found at the pages etc. It’s possible to edit your website by dragging and dropping the required elements. Wix has a stunning App Market, which grants access to lots of free appealing and functional widgets and applications to boost your website performance and attract the audience.
What’s more, you can make use of the unique Wix ADI feature that lets you build a functional and impressive website even if you don’t have the required skills or experience to do that. ADI or Artificial Design Intelligence is an advanced tool, which can automatically generate a professional website for you based on the information provided. This is done in several steps only, while the result will certainly exceed your expectations. As soon as you are done with your website creation process, adjust SEO parameters and publish it.
Wix Website Design Customization
When it comes to website design customization, Wix has powerful options to give your website stunning look and advanced functionality. To start with, you can choose multiple elements and set effects for each of them depending upon the goal you wish to obtain. Thus, you can edit the text in the text editor by typing the required info and adjusting the size, font and other elements of the text.
It is also possible to add and update the media by submitting photos, videos, galleries, slideshows, shapes, menus and other visual elements. Changing the background is also possible and can add style and uniqueness to your website design. Mind, however, that it is not possible to change the template you have initially selected. If you still decide to do this, get ready to lose all the content you have submitted. That is why, you should be very attentive when selecting the template.
Wix Free Use
• Connect Domain – $4.50/mo;
• Combo – $8.50/mo;
• Unlimited – $12.50/mo;
• Commerce – $16.50/mo;
• VIP – $24.50/mo.
Wix can be used absolutely for free so that everyone could create and customize a website with the platform. The free plan is unlimited and offers a number of excellent features to design a nice website. What you will get is a rich choice of mobile-optimized templates, powerful design customization tools, up to 500MB bandwidth and up to 500MB of storage space. You will additionally obtain the subdomain that will look like username.wixsite-dot-com/sitename/page-url.
These features seem more than enough to launch a functional website to present it to the audience. However, they are not enough, if you intend to build a more powerful website (like an online store, for example) that will require advanced functionality. Thus, if you pursue long-term objectives and plan to connect your own domain and make use of extra design tools or features, then you will need to subscribe to one of the paid plans, which are, however, quite affordable and worth the attention.
Wix Active Website Examples – see the real users websites powered by Wix.
uKit – The Easiest Online Website Builder Software
uKit is one of the easiest DIY website builders, developed with small businesses in mind. However, this does not mean that you cannot use the system to launch other types of websites. Even though, uKit is initially a small business website builder, it still can successfully be used to build portfolios, promo websites, landing pages and even small online stores. The web building process is simple and intuitive here and it does not take much effort or time.
Just like Wix, uKit doesn’t have to be installed on your computer. What you need is to fill out the sign up form providing the email and password you will further need to log in. Another way to register with the system is to use your social media account data. If you select the first option, you will then need to verify the email you have provided, when filling out the sign up form. That’s it. The procedure is quick and easy.
uKit Website Creation
Creating a website with uKit is convenient and simple due to the intuitive and user-friendly interface and abundance of web design features.
Having signed up with the system, you’ll need to select the design that suits your business or personal goals in the best way. uKit template gallery is rich and offers multiple solutions to meet any needs and design preferences. As far as all the themes fall into thematic categories, you’ll initially have to select the section that meets your niche specialization most of all.
This is where you will find dozens of quality themes that can be customized as you like. To find out more about a template you are going to select, you should hover the mouse over it and activate the “Preview” button. If you haven’t managed to find a theme in the section, you can proceed searching it in the General designs category.
Having found the design you need, select it, change its name and submit all the required company-related information, such as its name, address, social media account links and even portfolio that can be filled with your works later. Right after that, you can proceed to the website editing process to fill your website with the required content.
To start customizing your website, you should initially access the Pages tab in the Builder section. This is where you can customize your website pages, filling them with your own content. Each website includes several sections by default, but it’s possible to remove them and add those of your own.
Adjust the website settings as well as SEO parameters to boost your website positions in the search engine results. Some of the most important SEO parameters are titles, descriptions and keywords. You may also need to set up a search engine friendly URL for some pages and hide them from indexing.
As soon as you are done with your website design customization and SEO parameters, you can publish your website to make it accessible on the web. It is recommended to register a custom domain for your newly created website, which can be purchased directly from the system or from any other domain provider. The next step is verifying your website with the search engines. Finally, set up website statistics to track the traffic and other crucial parameters.
uKit Website Design Customization
uKit is a simple drag-and-drop website builder, which allows customizing website designs in a few easy steps. What you have to do is to select a theme from the template collection. All the themes are responsive by default, which is a notable benefit for modern businesses and their promotion. You can preview the way your website will look on different devices, while choosing a template.
Even though, all uKit templates are of high quality, you are free to experiment with design customization settings without being afraid to spoil something. To give your website unique design, go to the website editor (which is understandable and intuitive) and modify the settings there. Thus, you can change, add or remove images, set up background colors, the layout of widgets and blocks. There is also an opportunity to select the best match from the color palette list to give your website exquisite look. All the edits you make are displayed in the real-time regime due to the visual website editor.
uKit design customization options are not endless, but it is still possible to personalize your website design here. What’s important, you can switch the template on the go at any stage of the web building process without losing the content you have provided. That’s the feature that is worth the attention of users, who feel that they lack web building skills to make the right choice right from the start. Those users, who possess some CSS and HTML knowledge, can also edit their website codes or integrate those of their own to get deeper design customization options.
uKit Free Use
• Premium – $4/mo;
• Premium+ – $8/mo;
• eCommerce – $9.6/mo;
• Pro – $12/mo.
Unlike Wix, uKit doesn’t have a free unlimited plan, but it makes it possible to test the features for free during 14 days of the trial period. It starts right after you sign up with the system and allows testing all the features of the service in action. This time is more than enough to understand what options you can avail, when upgrading to one of the paid plans.
As of today, uKit has four paid plans, the cost of which ranges from $4 per month (Premium Plan) and up to $12 per month (Pro Plan). Thus, the plans are more than affordable for everyone, especially when compared with those offered by other systems. The result, however, looks impressive and worth the attention of newbies as well as of web design pros.
Mobirise – The Best Offline Website Builder Software
Mobirise is the offline website builder software, which can be used to create different types of websites, but it still works best for launching landing pages, portfolios and small/medium promo websites. The system was initially built with the needs and web design abilities of newbies in mind as you don’t have to master complex coding basics to use the service for your business or personal web building needs.
As far as Mobirise is an offline program, it has to be downloaded and installed on your computer before you start working on your website. You need to download the installation file first and then install it. There is nothing complicated about that. If you have ever downloaded or installed any other software, computer program or even a game, then you’ll certainly cope with the task pretty well.
To use the system, however, you will need to register with it first, but this step doesn’t take much time as well. One of the major system pros is the ability to edit a website without the Internet connection. This is very convenient as you don’t have to rely on the Internet access to work on your project. You just need to have your laptop at hand.
Mobirise Website Creation
If you have downloaded and installed Mobirise on your computer and signed up with the system, then you are ready to start working on your website development. To do this, you should create a new website and select a theme for it. The service doesn’t offer ready made templates, but it has hundreds of blocks that should be dragged onto a page and arranged as you like. So, reach the block section, select the blocks you need and position them on your website pages.
Each website block comes with the ready made content, which can be edited as you need. Replace the content of the blocks with that of your own and add the required multimedia elements, including images, videos etc. If you wish, you can also change the background image to give your website personalized view. Right after that, set up the options available in the parameter dashboard and publish your website where you need. This can be either your computer hard disk, FTP server or hosting.
All websites created with Mobirise are responsive by default and are perfectly displayed on any mobile devices. There is no need to create a separate mobile version of your website to make it accessible on various devices. Your websites launched with Mobirise will automatically adjust to any screen size or resolution.
Mobirise Website Design Customization
Even though, Mobirise is block-based and doesn’t have readymade templates, it still allows customizing your website to give it the desired functionality and look. The service comes with a convenient and intuitive WYSIWYG editor, which supports the “drag-and-drop” feature. As a result, you can create your website layout in less than no time, paying special attention to the content.
As of today, the system has over 400+ stunning blocks, including sliders, Lightbox galleries, articles, counters, full-screen images, photos and videos, components and their characteristics, charts and price-lists, process indicators, tabs, info blocks, headers and footers, contact forms, Google maps, social network blocks, reviews etc. All the blocks are developed with recent web design trends in mind. They are easy to customize and have lots of customization options. What you have to do is to replace the custom block content with that of your own and publish your website. That’s very simple and convenient for users with diverse web design skills.
Mobirise Free Use
Mobirise is free for everyone, even though, you’ll need to pay for hosting and domain name to make your website accessible on the web. As to the system itself, you can use it for the unlimited time interval and with no serious restrictions. Mind that you will be offered some of the paid modules or extensions to give your website advanced performance. They are optional and you are not obliged to buy them, if you don’t plan to use them.
At the same time, paid extensions make it possible to bring your website performance to the brand new level by giving it advanced functionality. Some of them include WOW Slider, PayPal Shopping Cart, Icons, Code Editor etc. You can also purchase the all-in-one kit for moderate cost, which includes all the extensions in one package. Having bought them once, you will be able to use these extensions for as long as you need to create appealing and functional websites for commercial and non-commercial use.
When it comes to creating quality websites, both online website builders and offline programs work great for this purpose. They have their own pros and cons, specific features and distinctions that have to be considered prior to making the final choice. Thorough approach is required to select the service, which will come up to your requirements and objectives.
Wix is a great choice for creating different types of websites. This is a universal website builder, which is simple yet powerful. uKit is a perfect solution to launch a business website. It is one of the easiest services you can find on the web nowadays. Mobirise is the downloadable software, which is a nice choice to launch decent landing pages. Each of the systems features quality, functionality and deserves the attention of users, who intend to create appealing websites on their own.